KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 29 — The Malaysia Industrial Development Finance (MIDF) will provide loans totalling RM800 million for local companies this year, International Trade and Industry deputy minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan said today.

“The government’s financing scheme through MIDF is providing RM500 million for automation of companies, RM200 million for the services sector and RM100 million for manufacturing and expansion of companies. The interest rate levied is 4 per cent for SME’s and 5 per cent for non SME companies,” said Ahmad during a visit to one of the beneficiaries of the financing, Ingress Technologies Sdn Bhd (ITSB), an automotive parts and component manufacturer in Rawang.

In the Budget 2018 announcement, the government had also allocated various incentives amounting to RM1.24 billion for local companies to adopt automation with loan guarantees and extension of tax incentives.

These incentives will prepare companies towards automation and smart manufacturing, as well as the advent of Industry 4.0. Industry 4.0 or the Fourth Industrial Revolution refers to the current trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies. It includes cyber-physical systems, the Internet of things, cloud computing and cognitive computing.

ITSB was incorporated in 1992 to undertake the manufacturing and supply of complete door assemblies and medium to high tonnage presses parts.

It is 70 per cent owned by Ingress Industrial (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd while Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Sdn Bhd (Perodua) holds the remaining 30 per cent. Among ITSB’s clients are Proton, Perodua and Honda.

MIDF is an agency under the aegis of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry that focuses on providing financial assistance towards business expansion, encouraging automation and reducing dependency on labour.